Falling More Slowly

I fall and fall yet never touch the ground,
where the unfinished story of our race
(together with all living creatures bound
to a revolving oblate rock) takes place.
I go on falling round and round and round
that breathing boulder at the perfect pace
as not to tumble toward it or to rush
away to Mars or to the stars. A hush

pervades the universe beyond my air
while winds of ghostly plasma hurry on.
Thinner than the peel of a russet pear,
the rim of Earth’s a band of blue at dawn
which, bit by bit, erases every flare
of sleeping cities. I’m a soaring swan,
far from all woes, filled with sanguinity,
one with the distant flames of infinity.

(Appeared in The Oldie.)